Seriously, I'm not. I just... vanished for a while. I do that. You guys know I do that. Most of you do, anyway. Those who don't; yeah, Loor tends to fall under the radar when she fells she's under too much pressure.
So let's talk about things for a second here.
I have two more freebies to finish, but it's likely I will only get to the one I owe to a living person anytime soon. The other one will eventually be done, but in a world that keeps pushing me harder towards deadlines, I gotta keep moving. Once the freebies will be done, I will get on the requests, trades, and gifts that I still owe people (Yes, Jak-woman, that means you. You don't need to send me another note. Promise) including my part in an LONG overdue character swap over on the Jak and Daxter OC club. As of the current moment I cannot accept further requests, nor in the future, as that would undermine my intention to open commissions and actually get paid for what I'm doing. I'm serious people; don't go asking for anything. I've got a lot of pressure on me right now to make an income, I don't need people coming to me with their pockets turned out. You've been warned.
After all of that is done with, I will finally be judging the Skyrim Fanfiction Contest. Once judging is finished and results are posted, two things will be happening.
Number one: I'll, of course, be getting to work on the promised prizes.
Number two: I will, finally, be opening commissions. That's right, we're almost there! With the help of my peers I'm figuring out pricing, as well as whatever additional costs might be involved in making prints to mail to clients. I wanna say thank you to everyone who's expressed interest in commissions thus far, as you've given me the confidence (and personal clout to keep my husband from forcing me to go and get a day-job) to keep pushing forward in this venture.
Alright, now let's talk about the harder subject, my personal elephant in the room... the fiction. Dear readers, I'm sure all of you have noticed that I've basically fallen off of the grid. I've clawed back a few times, but it seems I just can't stay on the damned ball. There were a few spurts of excitement, a few ideas here and there, but it seems things on the writing front are looking really... bleak. And all I can say is I'm a bit burnt out. I know, not a great excuse. There's no good excuse when I don't even have the line 'Well I've been working' that most of the others my age do. I've gotten a lot of messages from concerned readers who want to know what's up, why I've gone into hiding, and when- or if- I'll be back.
Well, let's talk about that. I feel like I'm under several metric fucktons of pressure right now. Your messages, though loved, don't really help lift any of the pressure. In fact, it just makes it worse; reminding me that I have an audience that has expectations of me, expectations I might not be able to meet. See, the biggest fear in my life is not trying, but trying and being seen failing. Fanfiction has become... no longer fun for me. I stress over it, more than I stress over anything else. I stress over my characters being received well by the community, while also stressing over keeping Loor true to myself, and also freaking out about keeping all the canon characters I play with in character, and not twisting the worlds I play in. It's become so much worry about how the community will react to my work, nearly all the fun has been divested from the experience. It's not about my personal enjoyment anymore, it's about making everything correct and perfect... and it has triggered more than one bout of writers block, along with a couple of complete meltdowns. Pile on depression from my husband's constant coming and going, and Loor is a bit of a fucking wreck.
So, here's what we're going to do. I'm going to try and stop worrying. I'm not quitting, I can't leave projects undone, but I'm going to try and stop sweating about it. What does that mean for you guys? I'm going to stop making myself think I'm obligated to you. Because I'm not. You're getting this entertainment for free, and you don't fucking control what I do with my free time. I will update when I feel the damn music, and you all just have to live with it. I can't live like this, not when I have an original story I'm trying to create, but I'm too busy worrying about fanfiction to even get past the second chapter. I mean, how fucking sad is that?
I need to love what I do... and right now, I hate it. I need it, but I hate it.
And that's the status report. I guess I should apologize about the heavy bits, but the truth is I don't give a fuck right now. It's Summer here, and I'm callin' it Summer Vacation. Excuse me while I go work on my tanlines.